The Apprentice 5, Episode 7 & 8 Extras: The Kids are All Right, but Gold Rush Isn’tby Jenn Brasler -- 04/18/2006
Gold Rush is upset about losing Bryce. I’m not! But you all knew that. Lenny is puzzling over what Trump said about him being on thin ice. He interviews that he’s stepped up to be the next project manager, even though he doesn’t know what the task will be. Leslie points out that she hasn’t been the project manager yet either, but Lenny isn’t giving up the spot. Leslie interviews that she’s interested to see what Lee will do. Lenny tells the others to forget about the ice. Um, okay.
I love this next scene. All of the candidates meet up with Trump at one of his buildings. Just as I’m recalling that Betsy always calls the hardhats they have to wear the “Omarosa Manigualt-Stallworth Commemorative Hardhats,” Trump tells the candidates to put the hats on or else one of them will be “the next Omarosa.” He notes that a tiny piece of plaster fell on her and it was like the end of her life. Trump doesn’t like Omarosa any more than the rest of us! That’s refreshing.
We see Gold Rush meeting with the executives, the TLOTW, and Sean calling Michael a wanker. Then we go to the Girls and Boys Club to see Gold Rush painting. Charmaine notes that they’ll probably only get the priming done tonight. Lenny tells her that they have plenty of time and she shouldn’t worry. She says, “Okay,” but she’s probably thinking, “It’s your funeral.” She has issues putting on her mask. She tells Lenny that they’ll need two coats, since the paint is red, and Lenny tells her he’ll handle it. Charmaine wonders if they can hire people to paint for them, but they don’t have enough money in their budget.
After Gold Rush’s bad presentation, Bill gets to sit in with the executives as they discuss the two teams’ rooms. They like both and are glad that the kids liked both, but in the end, they like Synergy’s room more.
Synergy gets their reward. Andrea interviews that she was really happy to be there. Dasheira gets to give an interview, which is cute. Trump shows up, which I think was really nice of him. Synergy is really sweet when they say goodbye to Dasheira at the end of the shopping spree. Dasheira interviews that all of her wishes came true. She thanks everyone, including the Make a Wish Foundation and “Mr. Donald.”
After Lee and Lenny prepare for the boardroom, we’re there. Charmaine says that Lenny was an ineffective leader and made bad decisions. Lenny thinks that Charmaine was hard to manage. They get into that whole thing, plus the horrible meeting with the executives. Lee says that Lenny is great, but Trump says that the team’s theme for the room wasn’t good. Charmaine admits that this was the first task she didn’t have a good feeling about. It’s mostly because she couldn’t figure out Lenny’s vision. Lenny says that the vision was music.
Bill speaks up that theme was narrow, and that stems back to the miniature meeting with the executive. Synergy found out from their meeting what the room needed and they thought through what they’d learned from the executives. Lenny says that he’s wasn’t trying to please the judges, he was trying to please the kids. Trump notes that the judges are the ones who told him who should win the task. Lee tries to interpret that Lenny means that if the judges had loved the room but the kids hadn’t, what would be the point? Trump replies that in that case, they would have lost. I get what Lenny’s saying, and I admire him for feeling that way, but in the end, the win is important, at least in this context.
Carolyn says that Synergy’s room gave a lot of options to the kids. Lenny keeps trying to interrupt and finally says that he talked to Synergy about their room. He doesn’t like their idea to put TVs in the room because the kids have TVs at home. Except some of them probably don’t. And the TVs were for video games, which are expensive. Trump asks if Lenny had a TV at home when he was a kid, but since Lenny grew up in Communist Russia, that’s probably not going to drive the point home. Lee sides with Lenny, who calls the TV idea “stupid.” Trump says that some kids don’t like music and Bill adds that the kids aren’t businesspeople, so they’re not making the final decision of who wins or loses.
Carolyn brings up the possibility of an instrument breaking. Lee doesn’t think the instruments were that expensive and asks if $99 is a lot for a keyboard. Carolyn replies that it is for those kids. Heck, it’s a lot for me. Bill notes that Lee is acting like Lenny’s attorney. Everyone discusses the bad presentation. Lenny says that he didn’t lose control of his team, but Charmaine says that if it weren’t for her, he wouldn’t even have met with the executives. Without her, Tarek, and Leslie the room wouldn’t have a floor. Lenny wishes Charmaine hadn’t been there at all. Ouch! Trump takes some pleasure in calling Lenny a red. Too far! He asks if Lenny is a good businessman. Charmaine is sure that he is, but he’s not a good leader and should be fired. For some reason, Trump gets into Leslie’s athletic credentials. She says that they made the kids happy, but not the executives. Like Charmaine, she had trouble envisioning the room. Trump asks if this is because Lenny didn’t explain it well. Leslie agrees with him that the theme was too limiting.
Leslie would fire Lee. Tarek thinks the theme was okay, but it was underdeveloped. He says that Charmaine and Leslie had better ideas. Trump asks if this means he disagrees with Lenny about Charmaine being a moron. Tarek says Charmaine is smart and very creative. There was a lot of talking going on, but he doesn’t think Lenny heard everything that was said. He adds that Leslie and Charmaine helped him lay down the floor, which took a lot of work. Tarek is doing an awful lot of defending of Charmaine for someone who was complaining about her voice earlier. He must really think she did well (or he thinks Lenny was too horrible to even get into it).
Trump points out that Lenny is the only person who thinks Charmaine was horrible. Lenny cries conspiracy. Tarek would fire Lenny. Lenny calls him a backstabber (well, someone who “stabs from behind”) and a bad person. Tarek says he’s being honest and Lenny proceeds to deny that he called Tarek a bad person. Dude, it was two seconds ago. He says that Tarek didn’t seem to have any problems with him during the task. Trump asks why Lenny thinks Tarek is stabbing him in the back. Lenny says it’s Tarek’s choice, which doesn’t answer the question. Lee would fire Charmaine. Trump and Carolyn are confused as to why. Lee defends Lenny some more but Carolyn mentions the bad presentation again. Lenny says that he would bring Charmaine back to the boardroom and Lee would come as an advocate.
Basically, the rest of the boardroom goes like this. Lee: “Lenny rocks.” Trump: “No, he doesn’t. Also, he’s fired.” In the lobby, Charmaine tries to kiss and make up with Lenny, but I’m not sure why she wants to.
In the cab, Lenny says that he thinks Trump likes him but he had no choice but to fire him. It was hard to determine whose fault the loss was. Lenny feels great and is relieved not to have to deal with his team anymore. He doesn’t care whether or not they miss him. He thinks they’ll struggle without him. Lenny says that Lee is the only one left who could be hired. “The circus must go on.” Close enough. He wishes everyone luck (even though he hates them all?) and says that everyone is a backstabber except Lee. He hopes Lee wins.
In Lenny’s exit interview, he says that he’s been a businessman for 20 years. He’s a businessman, not a comedian. This is punctuated by scenes of people calling Lenny a comedian and him telling jokes. He says he was born like this, or maybe he was struck by lightning or dropped on his head. Was that supposed to be funny? For a comedian, he’s a good businessman. Lenny liked Gold Rush’s room, and though he admits that the presentation is bad, he doesn’t think he should have been judged on it. He was happy to see the kids enjoying the room so much. He’s glad even though he lost. In the boardroom, people change because of circumstances. Lenny thinks everyone on his team was fake (except Lee, of course). He has no idea why he lost and isn’t sure what mistakes he supposedly made. He didn’t like most of the people on his team because they were fake, especially Bryce. Lenny treated Lee like a son and respected his loyalty. He’s happy to go back to his family and his regular life.
On to the 7-Eleven task! After Synergy confronts Michael in the suite and Andrea puts on her dictator hat again, Synergy meets with a graphic designer. Tammy is given the task of calling around to get pendants, but she’s not having much luck. Andrea interviews that she gave Tammy a very simple task but she got flustered. People say that Andrea is a control freak, but that’s why she has such a good life. Andrea tells Tammy that they might not have enough money in the budget for the pendants. Tammy says that in that case, she won’t waste her time trying to get them. Andrea first tells her to calm down (because Tammy was, you know, flying off the handle and screaming at her), then says that she’s just trying to find out the cost. Tammy tells her she was calm. She interviews that she doesn’t like how Andrea leads; she’s condescending and micromanages. When it comes down to the wire, the team won’t support her.
After the TLOTW, we see Gold Rush riding somewhere in a van. Lee says that selling one p’eatzza at a time isn’t as good as selling in bulk, which could be huge. (Too bad he didn’t say “yoooooge” and cement his position as a Mini-Trump.) He decides that he’ll spend the evening looking up businesses and trying to sell to them. Charmaine notes that it might not be as easy as he thinks it will be.
Gold Rush’s price is too high. Lee’s deal falls through. Now Gold Rush is back in the suite, all quiet and moping about their loss. Leslie says that it’s silly to play Monday morning quarterback. Charmaine admits that she can’t think of anything they could have done differently. Lee interviews that they’ve been decimated and he didn’t sign up for this. Charmaine says that they’re finally getting along, but they still lost. Michael thinks that they worked well together. He says that Gold Rush is definitely different from Synergy. Yeah, they suck. Michael interviews that even when he was winning with Synergy, he didn’t fit in. He’s lost with Gold Rush, but he fits in there, so he doesn’t mind. So basically, he’s a loser and he just needed a losing team to feel comfortable? Sounds right to me. Leslie says that she has a lot of decisions to make.
Synergy gets their reward. Sean is excited to go to D.C., where he sees the White House for the first time. Senator Schumer thinks the team is great and smart. He thinks they’ve gotten this far because they get along so well. After breakfast, Sean jokes that now they should go have lunch with the President. They go to see the White House and Sean says that even as a Brit, he feels a sense of belonging there. He’ll be able to tell his kids and grandkids about this morning.
Back in the suite, Leslie tells Charmaine that she doesn’t know what to do. Charmaine mentions that Lee hasn’t been so hot and Leslie says that he never supports project managers. This will be his fourth time in the boardroom if Leslie brings him back. She interviews that she’s not sure he sold even one p’eatzza. Lee tells Michael that only Tarek has seen him in the second round of the boardroom. Michael has heard that Lee is a good arguer. Lee says that when project managers bring him in, they wind up getting fired. Lee interviews that he may have been negative on the task, but that’s different from voicing his concerns. Michael encourages him not to show any fear.
Synergy gives Leslie a birthday card before Gold Rush goes to the boardroom. Tarek interviews that he feels bad, but he thinks Leslie needs to go because she’s not a good leader. Michael and Charmaine have made Leslie a cake, but she wants to wait to eat it until after the boardroom. Makes sense to me - either she’ll celebrate with it or she’ll eat it to make herself feel better. Or, you know, not eat it at all because she won’t be there.
In the boardroom, Leslie admits that she’s surprised the team lost. She thinks Lee did the worst job of everyone. She brings up his “shady” deal. Trump assumes that Leslie is going to bring Lee back, so he won’t let Lee attack her just yet. They talk about the high price. Leslie says that Lee told her they should lower it, but he only wanted it lowered by a dollar, and she thinks if she’d listened, they would have lost by a larger margin. Charmaine says the price was fine for the beginning; they could have lowered it later if people weren’t buying. There’s more talk about the price and the fact that they were selling at a 7-Eleven, home of cheap food.
George says that it doesn’t take a great deal of expertise to sell a sandwich (especially to a person who’s specifically in the store because he/she is hungry, I might add). He knows from talking to employees that the average price of a sandwich at 7-Eleven is $2.99 to $4.99. Lots of people, including employees, thought Gold Rush’s price was too high. Tarek says that he knows the demographic they were selling to was college students and businesspeople. Carolyn asks why they made the price so high, then. Tarek says that the p’eatzza is larger than a normal sandwich. It was better to overvalue it than undervalue it because, as Charmaine said, they could lower the price later.
Michael thinks that Leslie was a good project manager, but they lost. Lee practically says, “Eh.” Tarek thinks Leslie should be fired, though they’re really all to blame. Trump asks if that means Tarek should be fired. Tarek, of course, says no, since it’s weighted and the blame really falls on the others, since they set the price. Carolyn says that the cooler was a good thing to sell, but the team was killed by one thing, the price. Leslie says they didn’t have any way of knowing that it would be a problem until they actually had customers. She brings up Lee’s lack of contribution. This leads to the discussion of whether or not Lee said anything about the high price. Leslie says Lee is a politician and doesn’t support project managers. She’s only bringing Lee back to the boardroom, even though Trump tells her she would be smart to bring two people. As they’re all leaving, Charmaine defends Leslie again. Charmaine, in the boardroom, only speak when you’re spoken to, or you could get yourself in trouble.
Leslie and Lee return. Trump asks why Leslie only brought Lee back. Leslie says the others sold well. Lee notes that he cleared the other sandwiches off of the shelves. Leslie says she would have done the same thing, so it wasn’t such a brilliant idea. Carolyn disagrees. Leslie and Lee bicker. Forever. I drive to 7-Eleven and get a Slurpee, and when I get back, they’re still arguing. I listen to “American Pie.” They’re still fighting. I watch all three Lord of the Rings movies. Still fighting. They’re finally done.
George says that Lee comes up with ideas but also tries to cover himself. Leslie is a good leader because she came up with a good idea and stuck with it. That’s interesting logic. I mean, she came up with a bad idea and stuck with it, and that’s part of the reason they lost. George adds that Lee is the best he’s seen in a while at sitting on the fence, then picking a side. Leslie adds that he always quits on them. Trump says that the price was a mistake. He thinks Lee is more talented than he’s showing now. The big deal was a good idea, and it was really nothing ventured, nothing gained. I agree.
Trump thinks that Leslie brought Lee in for personal reasons. He said that they should lower the price, but Leslie didn’t. Leslie says that Lee is always contrary. Trump replies that in this situation, Lee was right. Therefore, Leslie is fired.
In the cab, Leslie says that they lost, and since she was the project manager, she took the hit. She thinks Trump lost a good candidate. It was the luck of the draw and she did what she thought was right because Lee contributed the least. Leslie says there are no hard feelings between them. She loved her team and they had a lot of fun together. It was a tiring process, but she enjoyed it more than she thought she would.
In her exit interview, Leslie says that she thought she would win because she’s efficient, she’s adaptable, she’s a hard worker, and she works well with others. She loved the tasks, especially setting a goal and working towards it with her team. She maintains that the price point was a team decision. Obviously, she was the one to make the final decision, but she stands by it. Dropping the price wouldn’t have helped. She thinks they sold consistently, so why should she drop the price? Lee’s deal meant less manpower at the sore, and that affected the whole team. Leslie thought Gold Rush would win the task.
The worst part of the process was having to hurt people Leslie liked. She brought Lee back to the boardroom because she wanted to go head-to-head with him. However, he demonstrated a lack of integrity. She thought the boardroom was going in her favor until Trump mentioned the price point three or four times. Leslie was close to Charmaine, Bryce, Dan, and Theresa. She liked being with so many talented people. They opened her mind more to what she can do in her own business, which is a great gift to receive.
Next week: If Synergy screws up majorly, can Andrea at least be blamed?
Jenn Brasler is an Assistant Editor of Reality News Online and an aspiring writer from Falls Church, VA. You can e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org. She’s guessing that even if Synergy makes a huge mistake next week, they’ll still win.
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